“Its A Whirlwind Right Now”: Rockets Teammate Opens up on James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s Uncertainties

Published 11/14/2020, 6:10 AM EST
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (left) celebrates with guard James Harden (13) after dunking against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of game three in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


On Wednesday, Houston Rockets fans were left shocked. The Athletic reported that many players were unsettled, with reports suggesting that Russell Westbrook was seeking a trade. A few days earlier, there were reports that both James Harden and Westbrook felt uncertain about their Rockets’ future amid multiple changes in the organization.

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Teammate Robert Covington recently addressed these reports. The forward who arrived in February from the Timberwolves settled in quickly and was brilliant in the bubble. In such a short period, he has already developed strong chemistry with his teammates. During his conversation with ESPN, Covington said he understands what both Harden and Westbrook might be thinking.

It’s new, it’s a whirlwind right now,” he said. “So everything is not going to make sense because there’s so much happening all at once. There’s so many decisions that have to be made in such a short amount of time. I can understand where they’re coming from about uncertainties because no one really knows right now.”

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The Rockets recently replaced long-time GM Daryl Morey, who was with them since 2006. They also parted with former head coach Mike D’Antoni, after a seven-year association.

RoCo says the team will get behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook

Covington then revealed details from his conversation with new coach Stephen Silas. He said that Silas wants them to “put ourselves in positions where we can bring out the best in both of (Harden and Westbrook).”

He also mentioned that Silas believes both Harden and Westbrook can return to their MVP form.

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“(Coach) wants them to get back to their MVP status because they both can do it. James has done it for significant years and Russ has done unbelievable for the past three-four years. He wants those guys to get back to that same caliber because that will take us over. They’re our leaders and the ones that lead by example.”

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 20: Russell Westbrook (0) of the Houston Rockets and James Harden (13) celebrate a shift in momentum as Will Barton (5) and Gary Harris (14) of the Denver Nuggets walk back to the bench during the first quarter on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Although Westbrook has asked to leave, the Rockets will try to convince him to stay. They will not be able to get equal value out of any trade for him, and that will hurt their chances to contend. If he is determined to leave, the Rockets will be forced to settle for future assets from a team like the Hornets or the Knicks.

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It is a tough situation for the Rockets, and the new management will be eager to solve it quickly.

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Aaron Mathew

1688 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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